Tag Archives: book series

Where Should Magda Go Next?


Where should Magda go next?
I’d like to take her to another island. Perhaps she can go by ferry to another Gulf Island, or perhaps she’ll go to Haida Gwai and solve a mystery there.Then again, she could travel across Canada and visit Prince Edward Island and learn about Anne of Green Gables. What about the Greek Islands? That’s a journey I’d love to share with her. There are so many choices among the hundreds of thousands of large and tiny islands on our amazing planet. Where do you think I should take her? Please let me know what you think.

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Getting a Kick out of Reading


It’s so much fun reading from my latest Magda book at the Mayne Island LIbrary. I ended up saying a lot more to my audience than I’d planned to about why I write and what inspires me. Without their questions I might not have opened up as much. For me it’s all about the joy of being able to tell a story, invent characters, and bring themes I care about out into the open. The adults and children present, with their smiles, laughter and general warmth, gave me the feeling of security a shy person like me needed to speak from my heart.

Another bonus on this occasion, (Festival Active Pass on Mayne Island, )was having my husband, son, a granddaughter and a grandson in the library audience. So much of the time as I write my books I think about how these and other very special people will enjoy it. I guess I’ll always write for an audience I keep in my mind. Guess that’s why I get such a kick out of reading to them!reading at the library Apr 2015

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Mounties on Mayne


Mounties on Mayne.

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Mystery Book to Tantalize You


The owner of our local bookstore is after me to finish writing my book! She said that people have been asking her if it’s out yet. I told her it’s nearly finished. She said, “Then why are you reading from it at the Active Pass Festival? Are you just tantalizing us?”

Festival Active Pass will a big event on Mayne Island and the other islands bordering on Active Pass. This April the 17th, 18th and 19th many of the local clubs and enterprises of one kind and another will be welcoming visitors to three days of activities. On Sunday, April 19th, the library has lined up local writers to read mostly from their books for young people. I’m so excited to be reading from Magda’s Mysterious Stranger, the fourth Magda book set on Mayne Island. It is a work in progress that is almost ready to go! Continue reading

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Bearing the Unbearable Truth


The novel I’m working on, Magda’s Mysterious Stranger, addresses this horrendous issue of child soldiers. My heart aches for these kids.
Magda and her friends, Brent, Jo, Shauna, and Rowan, encounter a man that has a lot of anger and behaves suspiciously. Their suspicions and their actions create a major problem for the man but also for the residents of Mayne  Island.
Life has more horrors than they knew about, though. They are confronted by the nearly unbearable reality of child  soldiers!
Art is often a strategy people use to cope with incomprehensible situations. These five friends use their music to do something constructive to help deal with what they’ve learned.

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Debra Purdy Kong’s Review of Mayne Island Skeletons


Debra Kong‘s review

Jul 02, 13

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Young teen, Magda, has her hands full these days. Not only does she have a part-time job looking after a neighbor’s chickens, but she wants to investigate the truth behind an allegedly haunted house. There are rumors that the deceased owner was a nasty man whose wife and five children disappeared one day. Had they left him, or were they murdered?

Magda’s sleuthing skills are also needed in a very real problem when her friend Brent is accused of stealing First Nations artifacts from someone’s home. Brent’s been in trouble before and his mother has decided that he’s unmanageable, so Brent runs away to avoid jail or a foster home. The police and Magda’s mother pressure her to turn Brent in if she sees him, but Magda refuses. She intends to prove he’s innocent.

Mayne Island Skeletons is a mystery for readers aged ten to thirteen, or for reluctant readers. Mayne Island is one of the smaller southern Gulf Islands between Vancouver Island and BC’s mainland, and a terrific setting. There is a real community feel to this story and a pace that reflects the lifestyle of the 1,000+ residents.

Magda has common traits to any great sleuth: curiosity, intelligence, and bravery, but she also has a lot of compassion. Although this book deals with modern day issues such as neglectful mother, First Nations artifacts, and to a lesser degree, the melting ice caps and endangerment to polar bears (through letters from a friend in the Arctic), this book reminds me of a Nancy Drew novel. It’s partly because of the story’s pace but also because Magda’s so polite and well mannered; something not often see in novels today. On the other hand, you’d never see a neglectful mom or a First Nations issue in a Nancy Drew novel, so I’d call this book a lovely blend of old and new.

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